Official website of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association

President's Comment

John Dermer , New Zealand Tree Grower November 2011.

Spring has certainly arrived here in the Manawatu. We have has a very dry September followed by a very wet October which is proving frustrating for getting the tractor work done. Otherwise our small farm is looking a picture with wonderful blossoms appearing everywhere and tui singing in the trees.

Nationally the Rugby World Cup has filled the headlines and what a wonderful tournament it has been, with an All Black win to top it off. The other far more disturbing news is of the container ship Rena, aground off the Bay of Plenty coast. I am sure we all wonder how her crew got their navigation so wrong and what sort of environmental disaster is looming.

Internationally debt is the major talking point. I see in my last article the USA was struggling to cope with its mountainous debt crisis, solved by simply extending the limit on what they can borrow. Now we have a long list of debt ridden countries in Europe, with Greece at its apex, who are struggling to meet their obligations.

Carbon prices and a new partner

The price of carbon is hovering around the $12 to $14 mark, adversely effected by the situation in Europe. For regular updates on what the carbon market is doing have a look at carbon match.co.nz

New Zealand now has a partner in the south Pacific. Australia finally has an ETS. Their Clean Energy Future Bill should pass in early November. Both governments have been working on ways to align the two pieces of legislation, but I expect not much will happen until after 2015 when the caps start to come off the Australian scheme.

Woodco News

There are things to note. Woodco have initiated a forest industry strategy to take us forward. This is an attempt to get this very diverse industry but there seems to be good support so far. The second move is to bring New Zealand Wood, the promotion company, into direct control. They now have an office in Forest Wood House on level 9 at 93 The Terrace in Wellington. We are there as well.

The third point is another ForestWood conference to took place at Te Papa in Wellington on the 12 March next year. Last year's event was excellent and this promises to be just as good so mark the date in your diary and come along.

Seminar with French foresters

This was held in the Legislative Chamber of Parliament on 30 September. A large number of interested people attended along with foresters and rugby fans from south west France. We heard how co-operatives work in France. This area has approximately 700,000 hectares of forest, mostly Pinus pinaster maritime pine, owned by about 300,000 people, and run by a large co-operative.

Can a similar structure work in New Zealand to mitigate the worst effects of the predicted post 2020 volume spike? Much of this forest is held by 15,000 of so smaller foresters and farmers, so there is a strong correlation to the French example. My congratulations to go Hamish Levack and members of the Wellington branch for organizing a wide range of speakers and topics a very informative day.

Christmas presents

Long time farm forester John Wardle has produced a book Wardle's Native Trees of New Zealand. This should make the ideal Christmas present for any tree lover and copies are available through our office at a discounted rate. Use the form on this issue of Tree Grower, write to the National Office at PO Box 1122, Wellington 6140, or call Susan or Bruce on 04 472 0432.

Next year's conference

This is to be held at Telford, near Balclutha, from 11 to 15 April 2012. The first conference I attended was here in 2000 and it was a great introduction to conferences. The have not missed one since. Come along and discover what the South Otago branch can show us.

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